One of the most important ecosystem services on the East African coast is the abundant fish of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, which provides protein, nutrients and income for many coastal communities. As part of the SPACES project, a small team of researchers in each country is monitoring the fisheries in several of the communities. Led by Caroline Abunge and Johnstone Omukoto in Kenya, and by Vera Julien, Almeida Guissamulo and Isabel de Silva in Mozambique, these teams are collecting data on how many people are fishing, how long they are fishing each day, what types of fishing gear and vessels they are using, and, most importantly, how much fish they are catching and of what size and species.
This data, which covers the human inputs, goods and valuation parts of the ecosystem service chains, will end up informing multiple parts of the SPACES project. In addition to giving us information on the status of the fisheries It links: with the Value Chain Analysis, which tracks and calculates how much income is derived from the fishery in each community; with the wellbeing work by providing a context by which fishers and those who depend on fishers interact; and with the Ecopath modelling by providing data which can be used to set-up models that we can then use to predict how fish catch and income might change in the future. This data will inform the scenarios and toy models that will be used in the stakeholder workshops.